Our marketplace was even bigger and better in 2019. Thanks to all of those who took a stand, and to our marketplace sponsors SSE. It was a great place to get advice, share ideas and network with policy makers, agencies, support organisations and other community groups.

Some of the organisations that joined us were:

Practically Green

Practically Green helps private sector and community organisations that know they need to be improving their environmental performance but are not sure where to start, what to prioritise etc. The business can provide very sophisticated monitoring to help community groups understand where and why energy is being used in their community facilities. This can help reduce annual costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, identify appropriate solutions and provide supporting information in funding applications and reports.

Rural Housing Scotland

Rural Housing Scotland helps to support rural Scottish communities with developing solutions to their local housing needs. Central to this is the construction of affordable homes.

  • Cairngorms National Park Authority

  • The Cairngorms National Park Authority works alongside organisations in the Cairngorms to ensure the preservation of the area’s natural and cultural heritage. It is also accountable for ensuring the natural resources in the area are used and enjoyed responsibly, and that any profits made from such activities go toward the social and economic development of the local community.

  • Community Land Scotland

  • Community Land Scotland is the membership network for Scotland’s community landowners, which collectively own more than half a million acres of land. Its work includes: facilitating information exchange between aspiring and established community landowners, and the process of taking ownership; raising awareness of the benefits of land ownership to communities and promoting its growing importance; representing our members’ views on policy.

  • Community Shares Scotland

  • Community Shares Scotland allows individuals to collectivise their money toward investment in local enterprises. In this way, businesses serving economic and social needs in local areas are owned and operated by those who live there, and the organisation helps to strengthen and diversify communities across Scotland.


  • Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) is an adviser based service delivered Scotland wide .  We support community based groups through the process of taking a stake in or ownership of publicly owned land or buildings.  COSS provides community groups and public bodies with a bespoke service.  Support includes a combination of - Expert advice on all aspects of asset transfer, Training courses on the asset transfer and asset development process, Sign-posting to other support agencies, Web access to information on good practice, toolkits and case studies.
    Development Trusts Association Scotland’s membership service will also be represented and there will be information available from our Community Shares Scotland service.

  • DSL Business Finance Ltd

  • Murray Marshall was appointed as the region’s Loan Officer for DSL Business Finance in December 2016 and supports the delivery of the Scottish Microfinance Fund across the Highlands & Islands. This fund provides improved access to finance with very competitive terms, offering loans of up to £25k with an interest rate of six per cent and no arrangement or early repayment fees. Murray has a vast experience in Business Finance having previously been employed by the RBS for 32 years. Murray is on hand to ensure businesses receive the best possible support with the application process and business plans, whether this be for start-up or growth.

  • Firstport

  • FirstPort helps to bring social entrepreneurs’ ideas into reality. Firstport manages the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund, which provides grants to help individuals establish social enterprises, and provides these startups with business advice and connections.

  • Global Ecovillage Network

  • The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) catalyzes communities for a regenerative world. GEN is a growing network of regenerative communities and initiatives that bridge cultures, countries, and continents. GEN builds bridges between policy-makers, governments, NGOs, academics, entrepreneurs, activists, community networks and ecologically-minded individuals across the globe in order to develop strategies for a global transition to resilient communities and cultures.

  • Harper Macleod LLP

  • The specialist team at Harper Macleod, one of Scotland's leading law firms, has been at the heart of some of the country's most exciting community group projects and developments in recent years.

  • HIE - Communities, Innovation, and Procurement advice

  • HIE offers a wide range of support to communities. Speak to us about asset ownership, community energy, heritage projects and social enterprise. We'll have specialist teams at the Conference to offer pan-Scotland advice.

  • Highland Third Sector Interface

  • The Highland Third Sector Interface works to develop volunteering and social enterprise within the third sector in the Highlands. They also coordinate with local partners to enhance the third sector relationship with community planning.

  • Historic Environment Scotland

  • Historic Environment Scotland manages over 300 sites in Scotland, including Edinburgh Castle, Skara Brae and Fort George. It is also responsible for the preservation of internationally significant collections of drawings, paintings, photographs and manuscripts. Every historic asset under its care is managed with environmental sustainability in mind.

  • Impact Hub Inverness

  • Impact Hub Inverness is a co-working space that aims to reduce social isolation by. It offers hot-desking and meeting space in the centre of Inverness where people are encouraged to network, co-operate and socialise. It is part of a global network of over 100 hubs across the world. It is also the support and development agency for the Highlands and Islands, working with social enterprises and communities helping them towards economic growth and increased sustainability and social impact.

  • Interface

  • Interface connects organisations to the expertise within Scottish universities, research institutes and colleges to support the development of a new product, process or service for the company, enabling them to become more sustainable.

  • Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust

  • Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (KoSDT) aims to achieve long-term and sustainable benefits that will improve the communities of Ardgay and Creich.  This involves developing opportunities which make a difference to the lives of local people, stimulate economic regeneration within the area, and increase the level of leisure, health and wellbeing activities for both residents and visitors. KoSDT, through the experience and knowledge gained from delivering several large capital projects, offers support to other community organisations through their project management and asset development service.

  • Local Energy Scotland

  • Local Energy Scotland manages the Scottish Government’s funding for CARES, which helps communities develop renewable and local energy projects. Whether you have an idea for an innovative energy project, have the opportunity to invest in a commercial wind farm, or would like to get more out of community benefit, come and talk to us.

  • MICT (Mull and Iona Community Trust)

  • Mull and Iona Community Trust is committed to delivering infrastructural improvement for the residents of Mull and Iona. Its close work with other organisations, along with the community’s support for their initiatives, has enabled it to implement a wide range of projects with the aim of reducing geographic, social and economic exclusion.

  • National Lottery Community Fund

  • The National Lottery raises money for good causes and allows people to transform communities, protect our heritage, and enrich lives through arts, sports and culture by funding projects and activities. These communities come in all shapes and sizes, and National Lottery funding is there for everyone.

  • Scottish Community Development Centre

  • The Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) supports best practice in community development and is recognised by the Scottish Government as the national lead body for community development. The organisation works across sectors and with a wide range of professions to support community engagement and capacity building in any context, as well as at strategic and practice level.

  • Scottish Council for Voluntary Organistions

  • SCVO offers support to Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises through lobbying the Scottish Government, creating jobs for young people, and promoting higher levels of digital skills within the sector. They help with the day-to-day stuff, like affordable office space, training courses, funding opportunities and information and support to help people set up and run their organisations.

  • Scottish Crofting Federation

  • The Scottish Crofting Federation advocates on behalf of its members to protect crofters’ rights, livelihood and culture.

  • Scottish Land Commission

  • The Scottish Land Commission is a recently formed organisation created to drive forward land reform.  Its purpose is to provide direction, leadership and strategic thought, helping to create a Scotland where the ownership, management and use of land contributes to the benefit of everybody.

  • Scottish Rural Action

  • Scottish Rural Action seeks to advocate and support the self-advocacy of rural communities in policy and decision-making. SRA is a grass-roots, non-profit organisation responsible for the biennial Scottish Rural Parliament.

  • Sensée 

  • Sensée is a leading provider of customer service staff in the UK - all working from home. They offer employment contracts with guaranteed hours, allowing individuals to take back control of their lives. The company is keen to share its technology, knowledge and experience to help others release the benefits of home working.

  • SYKES Global Services

  • SYKES is a multinational providing customer contact management solutions, and helping business contract operations and responsibilities to third-party service providers. Based in the United States, the organisation has international experience and contacts in the practice of outsourcing.

  • Social Investment Scotland

  • SIS seeks to connect capital with communities, and is a leading provider of investment for social enterprises. However, it is paramount that this investment is not just a monetary one. SIS builds relationships with the people whom their initiatives help to serve, making its investment also one of trust and understanding.

  • SSE

  • SSE is one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing energy companies. It is committed to supporting the communities where its employees live and work, and being an active contributor to the communities they are part of. SSE awards around £7 million annually through its Community Investment programme. In addition, through its employee volunteering programme staff have the opportunity to help support local causes.

  • St Andrews University (CINE)

  • Connected Culture and Natural Heritage in a Northern Environment (CINE) is a collaborative project between nine partners and 10 associated partners from Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. It aims to transform people’s experiences of outdoor heritage sites through technology, building on the idea of “museums without walls”.

  • St Andrews University (CUPIDO project)

  • The CUPIDO project is about developing new business opportunities in the cultural and cultural heritage sector, to reinforce the economic position, competitiveness and social cohesion of local rural areas. CUPIDO embraces cultural activities such as art, dance and music, as well as cultural heritage.

  • Support Network for Social Entrepreneurs

  • The Support Network for Social Entrepreneurs (SuNSE), a North-West Europe Interreg funded programme, will develop a network of social entrepreneurship hubs across North West Europe, to act as local points for stimulating community driven economic activity in disadvantaged regions. Find out about the international partnership, and four hubs planned for the Highlands and Islands. 

    SuNSE will support social entrepreneurs to start and grow social businesses. Participants will complete an 18-month journey with a well-developed business plan, appropriate commercial skills, market awareness and a network of support agencies to help them into the future.

  • The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust

  • HSCHT is a registered charity which helps rural communities secure long term solutions to their local housing needs. It makes affordable rural homes a reality for local households and communities throughout the Highlands and represents a wide range of interests including communities, local government, landowners, crofters and housing associations.

  • The Highlanders Museum

  • The 5 star Highlanders’ Museum (Queen’s Own Highlanders Collection) is situated within Fort George, just outside Inverness. Our Nationally Significant Collection, the largest collection of military artefacts outside of Edinburgh, showcases the history of the Highland Regiments and includes an array of artefacts and archive material from the Seaforth Highlanders, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, the Queen’s Own Highlanders, The Highlanders and most recently, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS).

  • The Robertson Trust

  • The Robertson Trust is currently the largest independent grant-making trust in Scotland and has a vision to improve the quality of life and realise the potential of people and communities in Scotland – inspired by the example of our founders, the Robertson Sisters.
    For more information, please visit

  • The Scottish Flood Forum

  • The Scottish Flood Forum provides advice and information to local authorities and individuals to help protect their home or community from flooding. They also work with local authorities to establish a recovery support programme after a flood, ensuring support is in place for the affected communities in the long term.

  • VisitScotland

  • Working closely with private businesses, communities, public agencies and local authorities, VisitScotland works to ensure that our visitors experience the very best of Scotland, and that the country realises its potential and makes the most of its outstanding tourism assets. To achieve this, VisitScotland works with the industry to market Scotland to all parts of the world.

  • Woodland Crofts

  • The Woodland Crofts Partnership is a joint initiative between the Scottish Crofting Federation, the Community Woodlands Association, the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust and Woodland Trust Scotland. It aims to promote and develop woodland crofts, which integrate small-scale woodland management with other land management activities and offer opportunities for housing and business development, thereby contributing to livelihoods and lifestyles.


SCCS19 is fully booked. Any queries contact

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